Making a day of a cycle ride used to be the norm if you’re into your cycling, but with the Coronavirus lockdown permitting us only 1 hour a day of exercise outside, it’s become tough to get your bike out and about properly.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to stay home and not do anything. Trying your hand at something new like yoga can actually have an enhancing effect on your cycling ability. No, it’s totally true - think about it. You can still stimulate all the same muscle groups with yoga as you would with cycling, and even build stronger muscles in places you don’t often utilise whilst cycling. Then once you're back in the saddle, your new and improved core strength, posture, and positioning gives you an even better form to cycle with more ease and for longer.
Why Try Yoga If You Are a Cyclist?
As a cyclist, you will naturally have a stronger lower half, your quads and glutes especially. But all too often your upper body is neglected as a cyclist, your arm strength, shoulders and abs are comparatively weaker muscle groups. This is where yoga comes in. Within a basic yoga session, you can stretch and work your dominant muscles and build strength in areas that will help better your form when cycling.
A great yoga exercise for relieving back pain from being in a constant hunched front position when cycling, is a standing forward bend. First begin in a mountain pose with your hands on your hips. Then on your next exhale bend forward and try to touch the backs of your palms to the floor, bending your knees if needed. If you feel comfortable bring your hands to your opposite elbows to add weight to your stance. And if you can, bring your arms down again and round the back of each leg, not using your hands to pull on your stance.
4 Main Benefits Of Yoga If You Are a Cyclist
Yoga improves your core strength
An improved core strength for cyclists means it’s easier to hold a comfortable position and spinal alignment. Your posture will remain stable even on long rides when you get back on the bike after lockdown.
Yoga reduces your risk of injury while cycling
The more flexible your muscles are the more durability they hold when cycling, you won’t be as easily fatigued, running the risk of injury. And if you do happen to fall off your bike, the chances of injury are significantly lower if your muscles are more flexible and stronger.
Yoga makes your breathing more efficient when cycling
You will find that the main focus within a yoga practice is to complete each position in time to your breathing. Making your mind and body flow in sync. This harmony clears your mind and calms your thoughts; which can be great when cycling a particularly difficult route or in harsh weather conditions.
Yoga increases your mobility
Your newfound ability to move with ease from regularly practicing yoga can benefit your cycling ability too. Your joints and muscles will be able to move faster, for longer periods of time without causing strain.